City of Pittsford explores new ways to regulate Airbnb properties

PITTSFORD, NY (WROC) – The convenience of staying or renting your home as an Airbnb in Pittsford may soon become more difficult as the City Council discusses new regulations to be developed regarding business practices.

This is due to the growing number of concerns from residents who live around already used homes like Airbnb.

Pittsford City Council has not formally drafted any legislation or listed the specific policies it wishes to adopt, but is currently in a preliminary discussion phase to find out what necessary rules are needed as Airbnb’s footprint grows. in the city without disrupting tourism.

Pittsford Supervisor Bill Smith has seen the town become a popular tourist destination in Monroe County. And don’t want proposals to make it difficult for people to visit for big events.

“The one thing we’re not going to do is stop people from renting their homes for one to two weeks during something like the PGA tournament,” Supervisor Smith said. “Or some of the major tournaments that take place in Pittsford.”

According to the Airbnb website, Pittsford has 16 properties available for rent. Currently, there are no municipal laws regulating how landlords can conduct business, but Supervisor Smith and council are receiving complaints about disturbances at some properties.

“People are concerned about excessive street parking, noise from parties, commercial use of homes in residential neighborhoods for business purposes,” Supervisor Smith continued.

Since 2015, Len Parker of Pittsford has rented out his properties across the country through Airbnb. He argues that these problems can happen anywhere and that new rules shouldn’t punish everyone for a few bad apples.

“If someone is parked on the street and you’re not supposed to be parked on the street, there are already pre-existing regulations about that,” Parker told us. “So answer based on what we have already established regarding the rules of the road. Same thing about disturbing the peace.

In all her years of renting her properties, Parker says Airbnb and landlords have their own tools to ensure guests are acting responsibly and their story.

“I only rent to people who have checked in on Airbnb and have a history and have been vetted,” Parker explained. “If someone doesn’t have a background, I call Airbnb or Virbo and get as much information as possible.”

There are other municipalities in the state, such as New York, that do not allow most Airbnbs to be rented for less than 30 days and the owner must be on site during the stay. But Supervisor Smith doesn’t see those policies necessary for Pittsford.

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